Lake Simcoe airport wraps up phase one of expansion (County of Simcoe)

Lake Simcoe Regional Airport (LSRA) moves forward with its expansion to attract more business to the region.

The first phase of the expansion has been completed, according to the County of Simcoe. This step included widening the runway from 100 to 150 feet, installing LED high-intensity lighting, machinery and enhanced infrastructure.

The project, which has been in the works for nearly a year and a half, is part of a $60 million plan to enhance the LSRA and allow area businesses to utilize the airport to receive shipments worldwide, said the County.

"We're pleased that the runway widening project was completed ahead of schedule and in time for CBSA's most recent announcement, which supports businesses and corporate partners at the LSRA," wrote County of Simcoe Warden George Cornell.

In Aug. 2020, the province announced that the County of Simcoe would receive $1.5 million toward the expansion.

On Feb. 5, the County's initial estimated cost for upgrades to enhance safety measures for adverse weather was around $6.1 million, with the County's overall investment estimated at $3.5 million.

An additional $345,000 came from the City of Barrie, according to the County.

On Monday, the County said the project is approximately four months ahead of schedule. This comes as LSRA was chosen by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to have its clearance status reinstated, allowing international flights to resume in and out of the LSRA following all COVID safety protocols, according to the County.

"Given our proximity to the GTA and Simcoe County's world-class manufacturing business, the LSRA is a huge economic asset for our region and will become even more critical as our economy and manufacturing sectors continue to grow," said Richard Norcross, a County Councillor and LSRA Board Chair.

Phase two of the runway project is now undergoing approvals, which includes extending the runway from 6,001 to 7,000 feet.